Handbook on Management and Organization of National Statistical Systems

The monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related regional and national development policies requires national statistical systems to grasp the potential of innovative technologies in a rapidly changing data ecosystem while reinforcing leadership, coordination, communication and dialogue through institutional and organizational reforms in compliance with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics, endorsed by the General Assembly in 2014. Considering these circumstances, the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), at its 48th session in March 2017, requested the United Nations Statistics Division, under the guidance of an Advisory Group composed of 12 countries and 13 international organizations, to prepare a total revision of the third edition of the Handbook on Statistical Organization from 2003.

The fourth edition of the Handbook, enacted by the 52nd session of the UNSC in March 2021, aims to guide chief statisticians, senior managers, and staff members of statistical organizations to develop and maintain national statistical capacity that is fit for purpose. As for the previous series of the Handbook, the 4th edition, renamed Handbook on Management and Organization of National Statistical Systems, is a non-prescriptive compendium. Its objective is to provide guidance and inform statistical organizations on critical issues and topics, including new and emerging ones while acknowledging the diversity and specificity of national contexts.

The Handbook was designed as a living document to be updated and revised at regular intervals to address the continuous transformation of the data ecosystem and the emergence of new technologies. The latest version of the Handbook (v2.3) is currently available for download in pdf format. By March 2022, the Handbook will be migrated from its current wiki format into a more visual and user-friendly e-book supporting multiple advanced functionalities. To balance this dynamic approach and reach the widest audience possible, hard-copy versions of the Handbook in all United Nations official languages will be limited to the overview chapter (chapter 2, Official Statistics - a general overview).